Passion meets purpose—it's a good way to describe the essence of what's driving Chris Stalcup and the Grange's sophomore record Downhearted Fools. Theirs is a sound like a bonfire raging behind some small-town dirt-road shanty, of a band valiantly laying bare its soul while everyone dances wildly, moonshine drunk in the Southern night.
Their new single "Ogeechee River" is a lonesome but upbeat, steel-guitar-wrapped country-rock ballad that channels everything from Son Volt's alt-country classic "Windfall" to Car Wheels-era Lucinda Williams to the ragged, wounded croon of Drive-By Trucker Mike Cooley. But what instantly set the song apart is its instantly hummable post-chorus guitar hook, delivered as Stalcup pines for the smalltown watering hole that serves as a backdrop for his wistful recollections on love and loss.
Downhearted Fools is available now via Bandcamp and iTunes.